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Los Olivos, California, United States
You can reach me at fool4fabric (at) gmail (dot) com

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


As I've mentioned, I'm in the process of putting together a travel wardrobe for our upcoming trip to Ethiopia. This is one of my favorite things in the world to do; sometimes it's the best part of the trip!

Over the New Year weekend, as I was planning to try out a new version ofVogue 8709, I learned my friend Shams, from Communing With Fabric, was also going to be sewing the same shirt/jacket. Voila! A mini-sew-along was born...and was it fun! Countless emails, rapid texts, several long phone calls, quick pix to illustrate button choices and knotty problems...and all along, great support and lots of laughs.

I had made this once before; I loved the lines of it, but my fabric? Not so much.
I wanted to use this fabric, a rayon/nylon/lycra crinkled ikat that I had bought, 4 or 5 years ago, from both Marcy Tilton and EmmaOneSock; this fabric will now be known as BFFH...Beautiful Fabric From Hell. I had made a favorite pair of pants, Vogue 8397, in this same fabric
with no problems, probably because the fabric was used on the straight grain, and the pants are very loose.

To keep you from abandoning me and my litany of what went wrong, I will say right off that I LOVE the jacket I made:

I lengthened the "drape", or bottom of the jacket, by about 10 inches, using as inspiration some versions of this jacket on Marcy Tilton's site. I wore it last night and got a lot of compliments on it. I changed the collar to a mandarin style, in keeping with the Asian feel of the fabric.

What went wrong? Well, the fabric "grew" unbelievably, especially when off-grain, but also on grain as well. For instance, the difference between the interfaced placket and the uninterfaced placket was over 4 inches! Some of the lumps and bumps that resulted, along with the interior as drafted, relegate this jacket to button-upped status only, and therefore will probably not be versatile enough to make the travel wardrobe cut.

But...I have a good looking jacket and the memories of a fun sew-along!


  1. I love the lengthened look. Very chic.
    I believe I used that same BFFH last year to sew up the SW Tosca dress. Love the dress but agree about that fabric. Growing is an understatement! Keep up the inspiring work!

  2. I love the longer version, Margy! And the stripes really look beautiful in the bias cut of the back bodice. Really nice!

    But... do you really think those were "long" phone calls? You have no stamina, my friend! lol

  3. Margy, love your new version of this pattern--and what fun you and Shams must have had with your mini sew-a-long! I've been meaning to make this one up for a while--have had the pattern traced for a couple months now--but I can't decide which of the fabric collection should volunteer itself for guinea pig duty.

  4. The longer version is fantastic and you look sensational in it. You and your stylying should be on the pattern cover.
    Aren't sewing friends the best?

  5. I like the short version, but I LOVE the long version! The diagonals on the back are killer!

    I hope its growth spurt is now over...

  6. Really great to see how two people can have such different takes on a pattern. Isn't that great about being so creative and doing yourself. It looks stunning and enjoy your trip to Ethiopia, DH is working up by the border to Eritrea - I would love to see where as that is where they found 'Lucy et al'.

  7. The long version is very flattering on you, as is the mandarin collar. Too bad the fabric was such a pain; it looks fabulous, especially the diagonal stripes in the back. You have great style.